A surge of missing person reports has recently been linked to the startlingly long Starbucks line in the lobby of the Gerri C. LeBow Hall. Drexel students have been disappearing into the coffee shop en masse, never to be seen again.
Starbucks has attempted to distance itself from this scandal, saying that students vanished before they ever reached the service counter and that Starbucks has no idea where the customers went.
“What do you expect?” shift manager Lisa Johnson said as she slipped powder into a grande mocha. “We’re a coffee shop. We target the sleepless, the stressed, the caffeine-addicted, label-loving customer. Is it our fault that all Drexel students fall under these categories? Maybe some of them are getting lost in the line on their way here.”
Johnson seemed completely oblivious to the frazzled state of her fellow employee at the cash register who was attempting to count out seven dollars and 29 cents from a mountain of pennies on the counter.
“I am so sorry,” pre-junior Nick Schaeffer apologized while pulling coins from his pockets. “You see, this is all I have left of my student loans.”
Further chaos ensued in the store’s line when Martha Carter — who had been missing for two weeks — was found napping on the floor while waiting for her usual caramel macchiato.
“Missing?” Carter said to The Triangle. “Oh I’m fine. Just got a little tired waiting in line, that’s all. The nice people behind me yelled ‘Timber!’ when I passed out, don’t worry.”
“I wasn’t particularly worried when she went missing,” Carter’s friend Jenny Maclay said. “I mean, who hasn’t had a Starbucks order take a few days? The lines here, even when it was back in the other business building … well, you’d be lucky to get a latte in a day or two so it stands to reason that, since it’s so popular, the new location takes a little longer.”
Carter is not the first student to take a nap on the coffee shop’s floor and be declared missing. For some students it’s the only time all term they get to sleep.
Janet Hager, a junior interior design major, said, “Having to cram so much work into 10 weeks makes it impossible to have any type of normal schedule. Last night I was up ordering new Uggs at 2 a.m. What normal person does that? Only Drexel students. That’s why I don’t get mad when my coffee takes a little long—I use the time to catch up on some Zzz’s. With the extra sleep and fresh coffee, I can make it through midterms.”
Several Drexel sororities have established support groups and fundraisers for students in the midst of the Starbucks queue. On a recent day, Delta Phi Epsilon sisters were on hand to distribute blankets and coffee for those waiting in line.
Brittney Sanders, a member of Delta Phi Epsilon and frequent Starbucks customer, expanded on why she loved being a part of the Starbucks sisterhood.
“Being at Starbucks really gives me a chance to unite with my fellow chicas,” Sanders said. “We all have, like, so much in common. Like, last week we called an emergency meeting in the middle of the line to discuss how annoying we all thought the line was.”
On a recent Tuesday, the line of waiting students wove around Gerri Hall’s atrium with all the accuracy and grace of an elderly drunken driver. Although students constantly complained about the length, they understandably refused to leave for any of the several other coffee shops in the area. Many said that it is difficult to find the small-town atmosphere and reasonably priced beverages Starbucks offers without going a few miles off campus.
“I love going to Starbucks for its charm. You almost feel like you’re in a movie or TV show. What’s the show with the big couch with all the friends in New York? I feel like I’m waiting for one of them to walk through the door,” Hager said.
“We’ve really been inundated with missing person reports,” a spokes person for the Drexel Police Department said. “We’re really asking that everyone keeps on the lookout for a 5-foot-10-inch girl, blonde hair, who was last seen entering the line wearing a black North Face fleece and knee-length brown boots. If you know anyone matching that description, we’d love to let her friends know that she is okay.”
If you are missing or looking for a roommate, friend or loved one, we recommended printing out missing person fliers and plastering them on the walls around the Starbucks and Gerri Hall area, as sources have reported great success with this method. Eventually, students receive their drinks and realize that they have been missing for weeks when they return to class and discover the term is over.